Data. Data. Data. It is the word of the day. Perhaps no topic is being discussed more than the emergence and importance of data marketing.
With the amount of customer data being collected today—commonly referred to as “big data”—few would argue against the great advantages of using data to better market to people. (For more on this, check out our post “4 Important Advantages of Data-Driven Marketing for Your Organization”). But there are still a lot of questions swirling around data marketing implementation.
Learn to swim before you jump in the water
With all the headlines and buzz, many businesses and nonprofits have heard about data marketing and now they want to jump in. But it’s not quite that easy. Analyzing data to pull the relevant information and then determining how to best use that data is something of a complex task. Sure, technology is making the collection and analysis of data easier every day. But it still takes a high level of skill and experience to get the most out your data marketing.
Existing personnel at companies and organizations aren’t necessarily adept at crunching numbers, so when they get the order from up top to advance data marketing efforts a lot of puzzled looks ensue. They don’t know to swim yet and they’re being asked to dive in the deep end. As a result, data is not being implemented effectively – or it’s not actually being used much at all.
Marketers still rely on intuition instead of data
A recent blog post from Harvard Business Review titled “Marketers Flunk the Big Data Test” pointed to a “CEB study of nearly 800 marketers at Fortune 1000 companies that found the vast majority of marketers still rely too much on intuition — while the few who do use data aggressively for the most part do it badly.” The post went on to highlight a couple other key statistics from the study:
On average, marketers depend on data for just 11% of all customer-related decisions
Just 5% of marketers own a statistics text book
Another article from Internet Retailer titled “‘Big Data’ Still a Big Mystery” pointed to a survey by retail research firm Edgell Knowledge Network to explain how retailers today view marketing data. This survey arrived at its findings by interviewing 75 North America retail executives and studying the data analysis practices of 100 other retailers. Some compelling statistics from that article:
While 80% of retailers say they’ve heard of “big data,” only 47% say they understand how to apply it to their business
57% of respondents say they have or are planning a big data strategy for their business and 30% say they’ve already completed a big data project
46% of retailers in the survey say the volume of data with which they must contend is the biggest challenge in dealing with big data
(As a follow-up to that last stat: 34% say managing data variety—both structured and unstructured data—is the top challenge; and 20% say handling the data’s velocity, or the frequency at which it is generated and captured, is the hardest.)
Get the expertise for data marketing success
The bottom line is, when it comes to data, there’s still a lot of work to be done. But before you get cracking, you need to make sure you have the knowledge and experience to truly make data work for you. That may mean advanced training for your existing personnel, creating new positions and hiring specialists, or partnering with an outside agency or organization. In order to get the most out your data, you must first ensure your organization is equipped to capture, analyze and implement data for maximum effectiveness.
Learn more about eleventy’s data marketing services for businesses and nonprofit organizations. Our marketing intelligence and marketing solutions will help you reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.